Residents were afraid to speak about brutal double murder

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
Senior staff reporter
dunkleywillisa@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, November 16, 2019

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IN the aftermath of the gruesome murder of 18-year-old Joeith Lynch and her mother Charmaine Rattray in Lauriston, St Catherine, in July of 2011, residents in the area clammed up, refusing to share information with detectives probing the incident – at least not on the spot.

Rattray and her daughter were on the night of July 19 fatally chopped and shot, then beheaded by a group of about eight men, five of whom were later arrested and charged. Three of the men, Adrian Campbell, Roshane Goldson, and Fabian Smith, have since pleaded guilty to non-capital murder and are to be sentenced on December 11, while two, Sanja Ducally and Kemar Riley, have pleaded not guilty to murder and are standing trial.

Yesterday, a witness, who was recalled to the stand by the prosecution, said on the morning of July 20, after receiving a call, he went to the crime scene and saw the headless bodies of the women. He said a senior crime technician took photographs and removed items from the scene, including spent casings. The witness said he then accompanied the vehicle transporting the bodies of the women to Spanish Town Hospital, where their deaths were confirmed, and then to the funeral home where they were to be stored. He then returned to the bloody house at 46 Berry Drive to continue investigations.

“I interviewed several persons, [but] most of the people I spoke to that day were very tight-lipped about giving information to the police. As such arrangements were made to have interviews done elsewhere,” the witness told the court. He said, days later, acting on information given by a former suspect now turned crown witness, and murder accused Adrian Campbell, further discoveries were made.

The witness said that he, in the company of the two men, visited their residence at Rio Cobre Drive, a street neighbouring that where the women lived, where a pair of blue jeans pants with “red substance resembling blood” belonging to Campbell was seen. He said pants and a pair of boots belonging to the other individual, along with a knife and blood were also seen on the floor of a room by crime scene officials. Campbell also led the individuals to the decomposing head of Lynch, which was found some 50 feet from the house in which she lived.

He said the information he received from the former suspect regarding his whereabouts on the night of the brutal slaying was verified to be truthful, leading to him being released from custody and his boots returned. Items belonging to Campbell, however, have not been returned.

He said other information contained in a statement made by the individual before his release was brought to his attention.

“After you met with (the witness) did you induce him in any way?” Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, who was leading the evidence, wanted to know.

“No, Madam, no ma'am, a resounding no,” the witness replied.

“Did you promise him money or promise to get him released to do anything in relation to Kemar Riley (accused who made jailhouse confession to the witness) or any other suspect in this investigation?” the DPP probed.

“No, Ma'am,” the witness replied. He later told the court that video recordings of confessions were done of Adrian Campbell, Fabian Smith, Roshane Goldson, and Sanja Ducally on different days. He said during a question-and-answer session on August 17, 2011 he spoke to murder accused Kemar Riley to whom he posed “198 questions and got 198 answers”. The statement document of Riley — who has pleaded not guilty — was, however, not entered into the evidence now before the court.

On Thursday, the witness, a former friend and roommate of Campbell told the court that Riley, whom he became acquainted because of Campbell, had confessed to him in the holding area of Spanish Town Police Station that the women had been killed because their relatives were responsible for the death of an individual from the area known as Scott Thomas. He said Riley told him that when Lynch was being chopped, she called out the “personal name” of the individual who was chopping him and so he (Riley) moved the person out of the way and shot her because “she bawl out too loud”. He resisted suggestions from defence attorney Lloyd McFarlane that he had fabricated the 'jailhouse confession' he said was made by Riley because he thought it would influence his own release from custody.

The trial continues on Monday.


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